chinatown, manchester in sun by ben williams
Ben Williams

Chinatown, Manchester

Creative Tourist

Wedged between Mosley and Portland Streets, Manchester’s Chinatown a riot of colour and flavour; restaurants serving up Chinese, Japanese, Nepalese, Vietnamese and Thai food jostle for attention at street level, with more places to eat, specialist groceries, karaoke bars and massage parlours occupying basements and upper floors. It’s always a fun place for dining out, and some of the city’s top kitchens are here. Every Mancunian has an opinion about the best restaurants in Chinatown.

If you’re looking for spice, the mighty Red Chilli gets a lot of love from foodies; it was one of the first to serve fiery Sichuan food in town. For Japanese, head for Yuzu – this restaurant doesn’t even serve sushi but is widely reckoned to be among the best in the city. Feast on homestyle rice and noodle dishes, and sample what may be the city’s best sake bar. Finally, Ho’s Bakery’s buns are not to be missed – honey buns, cream buns, coconut, and red bean buns, all pillowy soft in that way that only Chinese baking can be.

The small markets in Chinatown are a terrific resource for the home cook. Wing Fat, Woo Sang, and their competitors stock a broad selection of Chinese produce, including obscure greens you’ll never see in Tesco. The more adventurous can experiment with esoteric snacks like dried cuttlefish, day-glo pink panda-shaped biscuits, and squat doughy cakes filled with crushed peanuts.

Discover our top picks

URWOTUEAT, 2017 – John Powell Jones. Part of SUBI 수비 at Castlefield Gallery, Manchester
Exhibitions 14 September–4 November 2018, FREE

SUBI 수비 at Castlefield Gallery

‘SUBI 수비’ at Castlefield Gallery explores the long process of cultural and generational exchange that underpins the art of pottery and ceramics – one of the world’s oldest crafts – as an integral part of the way that humans create and communicate the world in which we live.

Exhibitions 23 February 2018–6 January 2019, FREE

Annie Swynnerton: Painting Light and Hope at Manchester Art Gallery

The first major retrospective of work by the radical Manchester artist and feminist campaigner, Annie Swynnerton, opens in nearly 100 years at Manchester Art Gallery.

Asia Triennial Manchester 2018 at HOME
Exhibitions 5–21 October 2018, FREE

Asia Triennial Manchester 2018 at HOME

As part of Asia Triennial Manchester 18 (ATM18), HOME present a group exhibition of work including performance, film, installation, sound art and multi-media.

Visual Arts 20 September 2018–19 September 2019, FREE

Manchester Art Gallery Highlights Tour

Take a tour around select artworks from Manchester Art Gallery’s collection. Lead by different guides every day, each tour is personal to their taste. Tours start at 2 pm from Thursday to Sunday.

Manchester District Guides

Photo of a handwritten label in a cafe that says "Ring for service with a smile"

Burton Road, West Didsbury, Manchester

Burton Road is the heart of West Didsbury, a beautifully maintained leafy hubbub of shops,…

Beech Road Chorlton, Manchester

A laid-back mix of gift shops, independent outfitters, restaurants, pubs and parks, on a sunny weekend afternoon it’s heaving.

The front of Didsbury restaurant Volta.

Didsbury, Manchester

Follow Oxford Road South through the Curry Mile, along Wilmslow Road, past Platt Fields Park…

Chorlton, Manchester

This left-leaning suburb a few miles south of Manchester’s city centre (and only ten minutes…

Cheetham Hill, Manchester

As an area, Cheetham Hill gets a pretty bad rep. The foreboding architecture of Strangeways…

Things to do right now

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Queen Margaret at the Royal Exchange
Theatre 14 September–6 October 2018, from £9.00

Queen Margaret at the Royal Exchange

othellomacbeth at HOME
Theatre 13–29 September 2018, from £10.00

OthelloMacbeth at HOME

URWOTUEAT, 2017 – John Powell Jones. Part of SUBI 수비 at Castlefield Gallery, Manchester
Exhibitions 14 September–4 November 2018, FREE

SUBI 수비 at Castlefield Gallery

The Royal Exchange Autumn Winter SeasonThe Royal Exchange Autumn Winter Season
Theatre 21 September 2018–12 January 2019,

The Royal Exchange Autumn / Winter Season

Cinema 11–30 September 2018, from £7

Not Just Bollywood 2018 at HOME

Poppy, Esme, Oleanna, Gracie and Kate, 2014. Personal Feeling is the main thing - Chantal Joffe at The Lowry, Salford
Exhibitions 19 May 2018–24 February 2019, FREE

Salford Royal Academy Takeover

陈秋林 Chen Qiulin 空的城 The Empty City 数码艺术微喷印刷. Part of Aquatopia at Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA), Manchester
Exhibitions 6 July–7 October 2018, FREE

Aquatopia at CFCCA

Families 5 May–28 October 2018, from £Quarry Bank admission prices apply (free for National Trust members)

Journeys of the Imagination at Quarry Bank